Tell me about "The Freshness of the Wounded."
This work is by Arthur B. Davies, who was interested in exploring Modernism and perhaps even the effects of WWI on the human psyche. If you look at some other works nearby, you'll notice other American artists exploring the events of WWI and the effects of its violence.
A little known fact about Davies -- he helped to organize the 1913 Armory Show in New York. The Armory Show is known to have introduced many Americans to modernist painting and sculpture. It was a real culture shock!
The label says something about modern dance as well. Was he trying to depict the modern dancers on stage?
I'd say so! You might notice the references to a stage, including a curtain. And the figure in the center resembles the influential avant-garde dancer Isadora Duncan. Davies knew the dancer and choreographer Ruth St. Denis, who interpreted Eastern cultures in her work.
Ruth St. Denis is said to have influenced much of contemporary American dance, Are you a fan of modern dance? I love how sculptural modern dance is. . . its truly beautiful.
I'm a big fan of modern dance! That's why I got so excited seeing this painting.
Was there any inspiration or connection with Puvis de Chavannes?
Great question! Arthur B. Davies was certainly well aware of de Chavannes -- despite being an American, Davies was very aware of happenings in Paris and the avant-garde. He took an active role in organizing the 1913 Armory Show, which introduced most Americans to European notions of modernity. I'm sure he'd seen de Chavannes work, but as he hasn't mentioned it in his writing or correspondence I cannot be sure.
As you may have read Davies was well acquainted with American Modern dance, and drew much inspiration from it.
But what do you think? What connects these two artists visually to you? For me it's the figuration and the arrangement of figures in the shallow compositional space.
Thanks! Figuration for sure and color selection.